"For Mr. Obama, this is all a potentially disastrous turn of events. On Capitol Hill, delay favors the opposition and tends to lead to defeat. The longer a bill sits around, the more its contents are dissected and the less likely it is to pass. Mr. Obama realizes this fact, which is why he is pressing for a quick vote on his health-care reform.
His plan has been to exploit the economic downturn to enact his entire agenda, not just the stimulus. The president's position, which he repeated again this week, is that his health, energy and education reforms are necessary to create a sustainable economic recovery. It's a clever political argument, but it makes little economic sense and few people buy it.
That's not all. The stimulus is such a large increase in spending that it turned the deficit into a political issue. There is a growing national wariness to adding billions (or trillions) to the budget, even for a relatively popular cause like health care.
Had Mr. Obama and Democrats proceeded differently, they'd have better odds now for enacting their agenda. They are victims of their own tactics."
Let's hope Barnes is right.